ATSC approves enhanced AC-3 audio standard

July 31, 2005

The Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) has revised its digital audio standard to add enhancements to AC-3. The standard provides improved performance and flexibility for broadcast, cable, satellite, DVD and other applications.

ATSC first standardized the AC-3 digital audio system in November 1994. AC-3 is now widely used in digital television systems around the world. Dolby Laboratories submitted enhanced AC-3 to the ATSC for consideration in response to a Request for Information published in December 2002.

E-AC-3 offers new coding tools that are said to fundamentally improve performance, and new features that allow operation over a wider range of bit-rates and numbers of channels. Of great importance to the industry, E-AC-3 can be converted into AC-3 for playback compatibility on consumer’s existing A/V decoders.

The new E-AC-3 Standard (A52B) and other ATSC standards and recommended practices are available at

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